Sean Byrne-Deise Sport

Come to me: Cathal Hennessy (Ardmore) about to gain possession against Maurice Power (Kilrossanty) during their County Senior Football Championship encounter in Fraher field. | Photo: Sean Byrne-Deise Sport

Kilrossanty 1-10; Ardmore 0-9

To many there was a shock result in the opening game of the Lawlors Hotel Senior Football Championship double header programme at Fraher Field on Saturday last when Kilrossanty recorded a four-point win over a fancied Ardmore side.

This was the proverbial game of two halves: Kilrossanty by far the better side in the opening period and Ardmore superior in the second thirty minutes. The seasiders will surly be kicking themselves afterwards that they allowed Kilrossanty to be so dominant in the early exchanges.

Ardmore got off to a perfect start when Johnny Hennessy pointed with just 36 seconds on the clock. Paul Whyte struck back with a point from a free for Kilrossanty before the aforementioned Hennessy, Ardmore’s most industrious player in the first half, put his side back in front eight minutes in.

Ardmore were dealt a huge blow on 12 minutes when wing-back Niall Hennessy went over on his ankle which required medical attention. After receiving treatment and attempting to stand up, Hennessy went straight back to the ground and was replaced.

The extent of the Ardmore man’s injury is not known, and many will be hoping that it is not a bad as first expected as he is a vital cog in the wheel of the County Intermediate hurling team who play limerick in little over a week’s time.

On the resumption it was Kilrossanty that controlled the rest of the game in all quarters. Paul Whyte, having been named in the number 18 shirt but started at corner forward, kicked three points in a four-minute spell just after the midway mark of the opening half. The first of these scores came from a free, the second from a 45 and the other from play.

Joey Veale hit two points from play for Kilrossanty inside a minute to further stretch the Kilrossanty lead before Whyte struck again from a free with six minutes of the first half remaining.

The most crucial score of the game came on 25 minutes. Whyte caught the ball in around the Ardmore goal and as he went to strike it was knocked to the ground and even though the youth soccer international player put the ball in the back of the net, referee Pat Casey called back the play and awarded Kilrossanty a penalty.

The 17-year-old pick himself off the ground to place the ball on the 14-metre line directly in front of the goal and, cool as you like, slotted past Conor Hurley in the Ardmore goal for the last score of the half, giving Kilrossanty a 1-7 to 0-2 lead.

Changed team

Against St Brendan’s in the opening game of this championship, Ardmore put in a poor performance in the first half, but after a good dressing-down at the break, they came out a changed team – and so it was again here.

Intercounty player Wayne Hennessy kicked a brace of points on 34 and 39 minutes, the first from a free. Johnny Hennessy hit his third point of the game 12 minutes after the re-start and two minutes later Alan North pointed for Ardmore.

Ardmore looked a totally different side now, in total control throughout the field, with full-back Michael Supple in particular driving them, and Wayne Hennessy scored his third point with 13 minutes remaining.

Kilrossanty seldom if ever got into the Ardmore half of the field and the Comeragh men, having scored so freely scored in the first half, had to wait until the 25th minute of the second period before Whyte pointed a free.

At this stage Johnny Hennessy scored his fourth point of the game, Tommy Prendergast followed Paul Whyte’s point with one from play and Whyte followed up with another converted free.

Wayne Hennessy tried to cut the difference between the sides in stoppage time when he sent a pile-driver at Darren Mullhearne, but the netminder made a fantastic save to put the ball out for a 45.

Wayne Hennessy pointed after the ball was delivered into the danger area but it was too little, too late as Kilrossanty held out for a 1-10 to 0-9 victory.

Kilrossanty: D Mullhearne; P Lennon, C Hayes, M Power; N Walsh, M Prendergast, B Mansfield; S Prendergast, T Prendergast; M Kirwan, M Walsh, A Quinn, J Veale, K Ryan, P Whyte. Subs: P Hayes for Power, W Raher for Ryan, C Keating for Mansfield.

Scorers: P Whyte 1-7 (0-5 frees, 1-0 Pen, 0-1 45s), J Veale 0-1, T Prendergast 0-1.

Ardmore: C Hurley; A Flavin, M Supple, P Gleeson; N Hennessy, R Hennessy, J O’Donnell; D Prendergast, W Hennessy; A North, S Prendergast, E Foley; Cathal Hennessy, Clinton Hennessy, J Hennessy. Subs: M Hennessy for N Hennessy, G North for Foley.

Scorers: J Hennessy 0-4, W Hennessy 0-4 [0-2 frees), A North 0-1.

Referee: P Casey (Affane).